Seven dead and 50 hospitalised in Croydon after tram derails

BBC tweet showing overturned train

BBC tweet showing the overturned tram

Seven people have died and more than 50 people were injured after a Croydon tram derailed and overturned in torrential rain yesterday morning.

A number of people were trapped in the wreckage of the carriage and were freed by the emergency services throughout the day.

Andy Roe from the London Fire Brigade said: “After arriving at the scene within six minutes, we have worked tirelessly to free a significant number of people who were trapped.”

Rail Accident Investigation Branch said that the tram was travelling at “significantly higher speed” than the 12mph speed limit when negotiating a “sharp, left-hand curve.”

The unnamed driver, a 42-year old man from Beckenham, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, but was released today on bail.

Emergency services were called to the Sandilands tram stop on Addiscombe Road to the east of Croydon town centre just after 6am to deal with the two derailed carriages.

Huge parts of the surrounding areas were cordoned off as part of a major incident operation by the emergency services.

Eight fire engines, four fire and rescue units, and over 70 firefighters attended the scene.

Credit: Katriona Thompson and Vicky Double

London Mayor Sadiq Khan visited the scene this afternoon: “An investigation has begun and an arrest has been made. We need now to let it take its course. My thoughts and prayers are with family members and loved ones.”


Sadiq Khan at the crash site this afternoon. Pic: Matty Edwards

“I’d like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their hard work, which is still ongoing.”

Croydon Health Services told Eastlondonlines: “Yesterday was a very sad day for Croydon. This tragic incident has affected everyone in our community. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and we extend our deepest sympathies to them at this very difficult time.

“Yesterday we cared for 38 people affected by the tram derailment and supported many of their families. One patient stayed with us overnight at Croydon University Hospital. It is hoped they can be discharged later today.

“I wish to sincerely thank our staff who did an excellent job of looking after everyone in our care – those involved in the incident and our other patients – in very challenging circumstances. It was a distressing day but one which made me very proud to be a part of the NHS and such a great team here at Croydon.”

St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, treated 20 people. They said: “Yesterday, three patients seriously injured in the tram incident in Croydon underwent surgery in St. George’s.”

“All three patients left theatre yesterday, and are continuing to be looked after by our surgical and medical teams. We are not planning to issue any further updates about their condition for the time being.”

A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service confirmed eight people have serious or life-threatening injuries.

Credit: Katriona Thompson and Vicky Double

Local MP Gavin Barwell has asked people not to speculate until a thorough investigation had been carried out.

He said: “One of my friends was on the tram, and he is now being treated in hospital. I’d like to pay tribute to the emergency services and the amazing staff at local hospitals,” he said.

Credit: Katriona Thompson and Vicky Double

TfL Commissioner Mike Brown said: “It is imperative that the emergency services can carry out a full investigation in order to get to the bottom of what happened.” He added that accidents like these are “incredibly rare”, especially for trams.

This is the first fatal tram crash in the UK since 1959, when two women and the driver died in a blaze following a collision with a lorry in Glasgow.

Martin Bamford, 30, from Croydon, was treated for broken ribs in Croydon University Hospital. He described the tram “speeding up”, and said: “everyone just literally went flying.”

He told Press Association: “It was like something out of a film … There was a woman that was on top of me … I don’t think she made it at all. She wasn’t responsive. There was blood everywhere.”

When asked about the driver, he said: “I asked him if he was okay. He said ‘yeah’. I said to him ‘what happened?’ He said he thinks he blacked out.”

Sharon Yerkess, 53, of Addiscombe Road, said that her daughter usually commuted to work on the same tram. Leanne Yerkess, 31, returned home after seeing the crash site.

Yerkess said: “She said there had been an accident. She said she could hear a woman screaming and that it was heartbreaking.”

Yerkess added: “I went outside and it was just horrific – you could hear screaming, that really hit me. It was horrible there was nothing I could do.”

Hannah Collier, 23, lives next to the tracks. She said: “I heard a massive crash at about 6.15am, then heard shouting, then the emergency services arrived. They started bringing up the casualties, some very seriously injured. People were carried away on stretchers.”

Lucy Smith, 34, lives on Elgin Road. She said: “Its scary to think I could have been me on that tram. I take it every single day. I’m not sure if I know anyone on it, but probably do, because I know lots of people here. You normally think trams are safe, but they do tear around – the ones around here.”

“It’s terrible. An hour later and it could have been me.”


Updates to follow.

One Response

  1. jackie November 10, 2016

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